A 49 year old policeman is dead, 5 other persons are ill and doctors are puzzled by this mysterious disease just outside of Hamburg. Andreas Breitner, Minister of the Interior, confirmed to the “Schleswig Holstein newspaper” the death of the 49-year-old policeman at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) on Tuesday (9 Apr 2013), after multi-organ failure. Another policeman, aged 38 years is in critical condition. He is suffering from similar flu symptoms, including severe pneumonia. A teacher from the Schacht Audorf area near Rendsburg has also died of multi-organ failure in the UKE, and according to unconfirmed reports, 3 other persons from the same region are seriously ill. All are suffering from flu-like symptoms but the doctors do not know what disease is affecting them. It could be a “degenerated virus” (?mutated), the “Schleswig Holstein” newspaper reporter quotes” an official.

     District spokesperson Martin Schmedtje said: “Both policemen showed the same clinical picture. However, we do not know yet whether there is a pathogen or whether a pathogen was actually the cause.” After investigation there are no known connections between both colleagues. Police spokesperson Sonke Hinrichs said, “the 2 policemen did not work in the same agency, were not on duty together, do not live in the same place. There is no visible connection, but naturally we are working together to try to find out what has happened.” The hospital is also investigating a possible link. UKE spokesperson Christine Jaehn said, “At present no patients with unusual infectious diseases are being treated in the UKE intensive care unit. Moreover, no accumulation of patients exists in the Rendsburg area.” Public health authorities in Rendsburg-Eckernfoerde have been activated since Friday (5 Apr 2013). But so far nobody knows what this deadly disease is. On Wednesday evening (10 Apr 2013) the Rendsburg-Eckernfoerde District Administrator announced, ” Despite the efforts of the specialists involved we have not been able to identify a pathogen.” However, the danger has been estimated as low. District spokesman Martin Schmedtje said, “a recommendation from the health services to close public facilities as a precaution is not necessary. General hygiene measures taken in times of rampant influenza, are sufficient.”

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